Construction sites are a magnet for would-be criminals and people up to no good. With building supplies stored out in the open, including valuable materials like copper pipes, expensive tools and lumber, they are prime targets for theft. Trespassers may enter the site to climb on or operate large equipment, vandalize the site or use it as a location for other deviant behavior. Even individuals who just want to “look around” can easily break things or get injured and become a liability issue.


Most traditional security options like perimeter fencing, video surveillance and motion alarms are not effective for construction. Cameras can only document activity, and fences can be climbed. False alarms are triggered so often they are frequently ignored, or response is too slow to stop the crime from occurring. Security guards are a costly solution and may lose concentration when fatigued.

When security is breached on a construction site, the losses can go well beyond the value of the materials that are stolen or damaged. There are indirect costs as well. These can include downtime while equipment is repaired or new materials are ordered; rentals and project overrun penalties; all of which can bring a project to a screeching halt.

With so many potential hazards raising your risk profile, here are five tips to help you keep job sites secure.

  1. Control access at the perimeter of the job site

At a minimum, there should be a high fence that can be locked when the site is inactive. Barbed wire at the top of the fence is an added deterrent to climbers.

  1. Install a video surveillance system that is actively monitored 24/7

A live feed of your cameras should be watched at all times by a monitoring company with expertise in assessing incidents in progress and preventing crime on construction sites.

  1. Implement a solution that is proactive rather than reactive

Proactive video monitoring (PVM) is different from other monitoring solutions. Smart technology detects suspicious activity, which is then verified by a team of specialists. They immediately deliver a loud, live audio warning while also notifying police. This has demonstrated a 98% success rate of deterring the unwanted behavior and preventing crimes from occurring.


  1. Add lighting to the site

Criminals depend on the ability to work unseen. It is more difficult to commit a crime in a brightly lit environment. Should an individual still persist, the lighting will help provide clear images of the perpetrator on video.

  1. Optimize your inventory management

The more assets you have sitting out in the open, the greater your exposure to theft. To minimize this, schedule your supplies as needed and (when possible) etch your identification into equipment and machinery. It’s also a best practice to keep a master list of all assets with corresponding photos.

When important construction materials are stolen or vandalized, it can negatively impact your schedule, your overall operations and your profitability. By taking these steps, you are making the right moves to protect your business from costly issues and downtime.

In choosing a video monitoring provider, be sure to look for a proactive solution. This is the best way to ensure your construction site is shielded from risk.

Learn more about proactive video monitoring from Netwatch.